Case Study

Bavaria: Brewing with local roots and global ambitions

22 pages
September 2016
Reference: IMD-7-1727

Lieshout (NL), October 2015. Bavaria N.V., founded well before 1680 and based in Lieshout (Netherlands), was the second largest brewery in the Netherlands. It symbolized fierce independence and a high degree of entrepreneurship, always balancing legacy with innovation. Five cousins from the Swinkels family were at the helm of the operative business; the company’s shared leadership model was one of its many ingredients for success, as was the family’s unquenchable ambition for the company. But the path to global enjoyment was anything but smooth. Western beer markets had been stagnating for years, some even declining, and competition was fierce. To generate growth, brewers had to rely mostly on acquisitions. The challenge for the seventh generation of Swinkels’ family owners had clearly been to leverage the company’s exceptional brewing skills. To stay relevant and continue to thrive for the next generations, Bavaria needed to identify new growth niches and maintain excellence in product quality while optimizing its manufacturing and entire value chain. Should it continue to rely on technology to create new products and brands addressing ever finer niche markets? Should it reach out for new frontier markets where beer consumption was still on the uptrend? Could it really do both effectively with its original governance and management structure, keeping the family connection and values?

Learning Objective

Family governance, culture, growth management, expansion strategy, sustainability, Ethiopia, affinity financing, emerging markets, product portfolio management, venturing, entrepreneurship.

Keywords
Growth, Emerging Country, Emerging Market, Beer, Culture, Value
Settings
Bavaria Brewery, Manufacturing, Brewing
2010–2015
Type
Field Research
Copyright
© 2016
Available Languages
English
Related material
Teaching note, Video
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]

Contact

Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Looking for something specific?
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics